adjective, no·bler, no·blest.
- distinguished by rank or title.
- pertaining to persons so distinguished.
- of, belonging to, or constituting a hereditary class that has special social or political status in a country or state; of or pertaining to the aristocracy.
- of an exalted moral or mental character or excellence: a noble thought.
- admirable in dignity of conception, manner of expression, execution, or composition: a noble poem.
- very impressive or imposing in appearance: a noble monument.
- of an admirably high quality; notably superior; excellent.
- famous; illustrious; renowned.
- Chemistry. inert; chemically inactive.
- Falconry. (of a hawk) having excellent qualities or abilities.
- a person of noble birth or rank; nobleman or noblewoman.
- a former gold coin of England, first issued in 1346 by Edward III, equal to half a mark or 6s. 8d., replaced in 1464 under Edward IV by the rose noble.
- (in Britain) a peer.
- of or relating to a hereditary class with special social or political status, often derived from a feudal period
- of or characterized by high moral qualities; magnanimousa noble deed
- having dignity or eminence; illustrious
- grand or imposing; magnificenta noble avenue of trees
- of superior quality or kind; excellenta noble strain of horses
- (of certain elements) chemically unreactive
- (of certain metals, esp copper, silver, and gold) resisting oxidation
- designating long-winged falcons that capture their quarry by stooping on it from aboveCompare ignoble
- designating the type of quarry appropriate to a particular species of falcon
- a person belonging to a privileged social or political class whose status is usually indicated by a title conferred by sovereign authority or descent
- (in the British Isles) a person holding the title of duke, marquess, earl, viscount, or baron, or a feminine equivalent
- a former Brit gold coin having the value of one third of a pound
adj.c.1200, “illustrious, distinguished; worthy of honor or respect,” from Old French noble “of noble bearing or birth,” from Latin nobilis “well-known, famous, renowned; excellent, superior, splendid; high-born, of superior birth,” earlier *gnobilis, literally “knowable,” from gnoscere “to come to know,” from PIE root *gno- “to know” (see know). The prominent Roman families, which were “well known,” provided most of the Republic’s public officials. Meaning “distinguished by rank, title, or birth” is first recorded late 13c. Sense of “having lofty character, having high moral qualities” is from c.1600. A noble gas (1902) is so called for its inactivity or intertness; a use of the word that had been applied in Middle English to precious stones, metals, etc., of similar quality (late 14c.), from the sense of “having admirable properties” (c.1300). n.“man of rank,” c.1300, from noble (adj.). The same noun sense also is in Old French and Latin. Late 14c. as the name of an English coin first issued in reign of Edward III.